Our Favorite Eagle Scout!

Thanks for posting this interesting article about David receiving an Eagle Scout award, Burkey! 🙂

Of all the interesting things revealed, why am I stuck on the fact that David said he had a “sight-seeing problem” and can’t read music very well?  It’s a good thing he mentioned this as I was toying with the idea of giving him a gift of piano sheet music!

But I’m still pondering: if David has a sight-seeing problem, does he need corrective lenses, or is it a simple case of not knowing how to read sheet music?  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it could mean that David’s musical gift is all in the ear.  It also explains why he still messes up when he plays the piano (except someone who learns music by ear usually doesn’t mess up on the piano).  Hmmm…

As you can see, I care more about the music aspect of this article than about the good little deeds our favorite boy scout has accomplished. 😛

Posted on November 29, 2011, in awards, music. Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. LOL! I think he/they meant “sight read” 🙂 Joymus you are in a chorous- what say you? I had years of classical piano and was in choirs & chorous throughout school and actually played for a tiny church in college- ( ie 100 members or so)- I also struggled with sight reading on the piano- but not so much singing.

    I do think his gift is more inate talent as you inferred- when he plays a piece on the piano he is following the script in a rote manner

    We know he can improvise with his voice- but not sure about the piano- If you have a really solid foundation in chords- & a good ear- you generally can improvise on the piano.- with practice.

  2. Sight-reading and singing or playing by ear are two completely different abilities. As a really good sight-reader, I never realized this until I started to learn how to teach music and then taught (I taught piano and music for 20 years). I have learned that one is not better or worse than the other – they just call on a different part of the brain. It doesn’t surprise me that David does not sight-read well. A lot of really talented singers do not read music. It is pretty much essential, however, if you are going to be in a world-class orchestra or choir.

    You can improve your ability to combine the two, and when I taught I tried to always work on both skill sets with my students. But in the end we all naturally gravitate to the one that is easiest for us. I suspect it is the same thing as how we all learn in different ways – obviously David is an aural learner rather than a visual learner.

  3. Too funny! That’s what stuck out to me too! I hesitate to watch his performances on the keyboard now. Sadz…

  4. Ella Fitzgerald and Barbra Streisand never learned to sight read music, so he’s in good company.

    As far as the piano goes he should stop playing it on stage until he masters it. If he can’t master it he should rely only on his best instrument, his vocal chords.

  5. I can’t see David wanting to sing in the Choir. As usual,David respectfully answered the question by paying tribute to the Choir’s ability to read music.
    When he was quite young, his parents had he and his sister in a group singing at one of the parks. David preferred singing solo vs singing in a group. I can’t remember if this was in Chords of Strength or where I read that.

    Thanks MomJulee for the info on learning music.

  6. I don’t play an instrument nor can I sing. When David plays the piano, he seems in harmony with it. I know he’s not even close to being Elton or Stevie on the keyboards but I enjoy watching performers when I can sense their passion for their art.

    Anyone ever see the episode of The Wonder Years where Kevin was learning to play Pachabel’s Canon on the piano? He backed out of a competition because another student played the song so much better. The teacher tried to explain to Kevin that his version of Canon was good because He played the piano with feeling. That episode reminds me of the type of pianist David is.

  7. I’m completely the opposite of him. I’ve sang and played piano & flute since I was little. I can sight-read really well. Just give me the music, & I only need to practice a few times.

    But without the notes in front of me, I’m toast. I can’t play by ear to save my life. (I’ve had 8 yrs of lessons, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is all you’ll be able to get out of me, lol). And If I have to memorize a song, I practice forever ’til I can visualize the notes in my head and my fingers automatically go where they’re supposed to. lol.

  8. Anyone who has taken piano lessons knows that it is not easy to play the piano and sing at the same time. A person usually needs to take piano lessons for years to be able to read the notes and play proficiently. David only took lessons for a short time so I think he plays amazingly well considering his lack of piano training. He does seem to be able to keep right on going when he makes a mistake. The best pianists are ones that can read music but also play by ear.

  9. I played clarinet in elementary school and junior high and sang from elementary through college. I could sight read “like a bandit” or so my high school choir director would say. I learned to read music very easily. I was told I had a lovely tone and good technique. It was easy for me to memorize song lyrics and I enjoyed singing along to records and to the radio and could copy exactly how the singer was singing it. But, the thing I could not do and still to this day cannot do is “find the special places to put special moments in a song” the way MIC showed D from a very young age. And improvise; make a song uniquely my own. NO WAY CANNOT DO! But D can and does do that instinctively AND magnificently.

  10. 2012 plans from David………..shhhh…….maybe no “M”????

    Nov 29, 2011
    David Archuleta takes My Kind of Christmas Nationwide
    By Brian Mansfield, USA TODAY
    Updated 27m ago

    David hopes to find some time in early 2012 for songwriting and, perhaps, acting classes. “There might be some fun little projects to try out that I might want to get ready for,” he says. “Other than that, I think I’m going to try and take it easy and take some time to myself, too.”


    • “…he and a friend decided to write a new song using the title, and he’ll be singing My Kind of Christmas at the shows.”

      hmmm …. I hope he surprises us with a collab with a friend we don’t know about. I’m ready to hear new names brought into the fan site discussions — sort of like the times when misc. songwriters would tweet they were writing “smash” hits with David.

    • This is an interesting quote from David from that USA today article: “Of course, with a record label, you have more of a platform in one way. At the same time, you’re more tied down. Even though it’s hard to find the organization you’d normally find with a label situation, I feel like I want to try it in a different way than a label normally would have me do it.” It sounds like David still does not want a label and I just do not agree with him. IMO he does need a label if he has that option but of course it is his choice. Maybe no “M” but it sounds like no label either. I just have to wonder about the advise he gets regarding his music career.

      • Well, at least we finally have some information. I feel better just having that. Not ruling out the “M” word yet, though, ‘cuz it looks like he’s still holding back on doing anything concrete. I dunno. Not sure what to think anymore.

        I do agree that labels are a mess & will take all your $, & that releasing one song at a time might be a good idea. But without a label or decent mgmt., who’s going to promote him & let the public know his songs exist? He won’t have a way of getting radio play or gaining more fans, either. Sooo…I don’t quite get how he thinks this is gonna work. Maybe I’m missing something, though. Very Interesting.

      • VJ that exactly is my question and concern. I just don’t get how he thinks it all works without a label and decent management either. I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens or does not happen.

      • I do think that it is a great that David did mention he might take acting classes in the article. I have often thought that he should be taking acting classes. That would be a positive move IMO.

    • When the “Mormon Times” interviewer asked David if he had shared his religion in the (big bad) music world, I knew there would be no other mission for him. I’m sure that his leaders are reveling in his visibility, especially with the MOTAB publicity– which is even in Asia.

      Now that the Christmas season is here, I started watching the MOTAB youTubes, since I only downloaded the CD, and I was surprised to find a number of comments from LDS people, saying that “Brother Archuleta” needed to get out on his mission, and that they knew that was what God wanted. No wonder David has to say that it’s between him and the Lord.

      • That is interesting cc halo.

      • I’ve had that experience before, lol. Funny how God supposedly tells people the opposite thing that He tells me.

      • Was there another interview? I missed the question about sharing his religion in the (big bad) music world. All I saw was this comment: “When people learn he’s from Utah, the next question is usually about the LDS Church. “It’s the first thing they ask,” Archuleta said. “It’s cool when people notice that you make an effort to live certain values.”

        Which I can completely relate to! It IS the first thing people ask! Anyone who is LDS and lives the values is visible, famous or not, seeing as how we’re so weird and all. 😉 I had a friend in High School who one day started raging at me because I didn’t swear. We had never ever talked about religion or swearing, but she ‘blamed’ it on me being LDS. I’m sure that David has had to explain his non-partying ways to a lot of folks.

        There will always be some who have no idea about David’s influence, that will say he should go on a formal mission, but I saw much less of those kinds of comments than I expected – more just “He would be so awesome if he went on a mission!” kind of thing. I was really happy about that.

      • Julee, it’s the Mormon Times TV show from Sunday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8Ms8L7kG5Rg

        BTW, your high school friend was very strange. Here in wicked California, most people I know don’t swear, and no one ever questions it.

      • Oh, so there was another Mormon Times thing! I didn’t see it. They sort of cut him off on that. I would have liked to hear his answer.

    • total random speculation- but wonder if David has a chance to appear on Glee?

  11. I’m pretty sure the friend is Sunny and they wrote the song “My Kind of Christmas” but I could be wrong….

  12. My son has played in an orchestra since he was small, and has a great ear–but when he recently auditioned and was accepted for his college choir, he decided that he couldn’t sight-read well enough, so he turned them down. (Or maybe it was because his girlfriend didn’t get accepted, lol). I didn’t understand it at the time, so I appreciate the enlightenment, Julee.

    The Eagle Scout thing is a little bit of a sore spot for me. I KILLED myself working so hard as a Den Mother, trying to keep my son’s Cub Scout troop going, which was so tough with two special needs kids (one of them my son). But when it was time to go from cubs into scouts, the Supreme Court decision came down, saying that the scouts were a private organization, and thus allowed to discriminate against gays, we had to make the wrenching decision not to continue. I don’t regret teaching my son that it’s wrong to discriminate, but it’s sad that he didn’t get the same enrichment his sister got from being in Girl Scouts. (The GS don’t have a discriminatory policy).

  13. Thank you Brian Mansfield for finally getting some info (albeit vague) about future projects from David. The acting lessons surprised me, wonder what he’s been approached to do. Hope he’s hiring a mega-manager since it does look like he’s going it alone with no label.

    I agree, Marie, I wonder about the career advice he’s getting too. I’m not sure how much longer his career can withstand the mismanagement.

  14. I’m out of lurking to speculate on this one. So, David said he had a “sight-seeing problem”. Interesting. One of the things I find fascinating about David is how uniquely his brain works. The first time I watched him being interviewed I was struck by his obvious intelligence but poor verbal skills. I have been having fun trying to figure him out ever sense. I am not surprised he isn’t adapt at sight reading He’s probably an auditory learner and right brain dominant. In a person with his kind of brain “seeing” printed material has a somewhat limited function. A good sight reader gets a bunch of data from notes on a page – hand placement, pitch, how long to hold each note etc. An auditorily inclined person uses the music for hand placement but benefits from hearing the music once to get the additional data. It really is a “sight-seeing” problem.

    HG, I bet sheet music with a CD would be a big hit. Or, give him a song he has heard because you know he has an encyclopedia of music in his head.

  15. My Kind of Christmas vlog!

    To all that are going, have a blast and safe travel !

    • Sometimes I’ve wondered about how his speech seems circular, at times — he’ll ramble around a subject and sometimes include several verb forms. I remember reading at some point that he learned Spanish first and then his parents decided to stop speaking Spanish in front of the kids so he went to English. Since language structure is so different in Spanish, I wonder if this affected his speech patterns.

      Could be way off, but obviously I’ve enjoyed thinking about it too. He is intelligent, as you said, cchalo, but with interesting speech differences. I’d bet very right brained, as you said.

  16. Oops 2. Never mind. I need caffeine!

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